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[540] at a place opposite what is known as Mrs. Porter's shell-road, about thirty miles from Brashear City, arriving there about eight o'clock the same evening.

A reconnoissance was now made on shore by the First Louisiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Fisk, along the shell-road leading to the Teche, from the lake to the rear of where the enemy was supposed to be. After a careful examination it was found that the road was impassable.

Captain Rawley, Aid to General Banks, and chief signal-officer in the department, about three o'clock the same afternoon took the steamer Sykes, proceeded up the Atchafalaya into the lake, and opened communication with General Grover. A company of men and one piece of artillery accompanied him.

The flotilla now moved up to what is known as McWilliams's road, five miles above. This movement was quietly made in/the night. The landing here being found good and the road passable, the troops commenced disembarking on Sunday morning at daylight. The First Louisiana and the brigade of Colonel Birge landed at the same time. The former immediately formed in line of battle, and Lieutenant-Colonel Fisk advanced with two companies and deployed as skirmishers toward the woods, supported by Colonel Holcomb with the balance of the regiment.

Suddenly, after proceeding a short distance, artillery opened upon our forces from the woods beyond the road, instantly followed by a sharp discharge of musketry.

Colonel Fisk, with his command, was ordered to advance into the woods, while Colonel Holcomb moved rapidly forward with his regiment to take the enemy's guns, or drive them back and advance through the woods to the opposite edge, distant about three quarters of a mile.

As our men moved rapidly forward, the enemy limbered up his guns and retreated. Volleys of musketry were, however, kept up on Colonel Holcomb's command, which were briskly returned, the latter advancing at the same time.

At this time Colonel Fisk fell, wounded through the leg, and the men moved forward with more spirit, as if determined to dearly avenge his fall, when the enemy retreated in haste, leaving two prisoners and two horses in our hands.

Our force now advanced to the edge of the wood, which it held, and the Twelfth Connecticut, One Hundred and Fifty-ninth and Sixth New-York shortly after arrived as a support. Here General Dwight was ordered to halt and await the disembarking of the remainder of the division, while steamers in the mean time were sent to the assistance of the Arizona, which had grounded a few miles above with two regiments on board. The troops were transferred to the other vessels as rapidly as possible, and the Arizona got afloat, when the whole returned to the main body. This caused a detention of four hours.

General Dwight was now reenforced by the remainder of his brigade and Captain Closson's battery of artillery. The enemy, in considerable numbers, was moving about on the plain ahead, and across the bridges of the Teche. This force consisted of four guns, three hundred cavalry and a few infantry.

As soon as our cavalry and artillery arrived at the front, the former was sent to occupy and hold the junction of the Lake road, together with the road that runs parallel with the Teche.

The rebels moved forward upon this body with their cavalry and artillery, compelling it to fall back.

A section of Closson's battery, with Colonel Cassidy's Sixth New-York regiment, was now sent forward with a support, for the purpose of effecting the same object, when the enemy, seeing this body advance, retreated across the Teche, at McWilliams's plantation, burning the bridge behind them, and proceeding to the bridge at Madame Porter's plantation, attempted to fire it also ; but our artillery and infantry, having by this time got possession of the junction of the roads, prevented its destruction, extinguished the fire and compelled the negroes on the plantation to repair the damage already done.

The enemy now started for a bridge about five hundred yards lower down the Teche, with the intention of destroying it, but our artillery opening upon them and the cavalry harassing them, they retreated without accomplishing their purpose. Shortly after noon we had full possession of the bridge at Madame Porter's, which was now in good repair.

About this time an order to halt was given, when General Dwight received instructions from General Grover to remain on the opposite side of the Teche, and keep possession of the bridges. The brigade remained in this position until five o'clock P. M., the remainder of the force crossing to the other side.

When all were over, General Dwight was ordered to burn the lower bridge, at which his command was, and with his brigade cross the one which our forces had already passed over.

This was accomplished, and the troops bivouacked for the night.

Captain Rawley now communicated with General Grover, and returned to headquarters where he arrived at ten o'clock in the evening. It was supposed that both sides of the Atchafalaya were lined with rebel troops, which was the reason of artillery and infantry accompanying the Sykes. No resistance, however, was made, and but a few of the enemy were seen, and they retreated without firing.

On Monday morning, April thirteenth, shortly after daylight, the division again advanced, Colonel Birge's brigade in front, followed by the brigades of General Dwight and Colonel Kimball. Lieutenant Rogers's battery was in the advance, with Captains Closson's and Nim's batteries in reserve.

About seven o'clock A. M. the advance reached the edge of a dense line of woods, near what is known as Irish Bend, (a sharp bend of the Teche,)


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